Music Reviews



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Artist: LABORATORIO MUSICA "SUONO C"
Title: fobetore
Format: CD
Label: Snowdonia (@)
Rated: *****
I really didn't know what to think about this release since you know Snowdonia is a quite eccentric label and I'm not exactly in all of their releases, but it's been a great surprise since I've been positively impressed by what Laboratorio Musicale "Suono C" have created for this recording. The music here featured sounds like a strange kind of soundtrack for a movie, Canterbury sound, some classical interventions and a bit of weirdness just to make it all a bit odd in the typical style of the label. Laboratorio Musicale "Suono C" is a small orchestra, consider beside some solo-computer episodes usually they play three or four instruments for every track: sax, bass, guitar, vocals, percussion, vibraphone, objects. While using a plethora of instruments they never superimpose one on top of each other, usually there're a couple of sounds well dosed together and after that a sequence of other movements coming in and out of the track. Somewhere else they move play and think like an old/new fashioned street-band. The global result sounds quite melodic and even if the weird seventies flavor is still there behind the door the music is really accessible. An interesting surprise.
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Artist: KIM CASCONE
Title: The Knotted Constellation (Fourteen Rotted Coordinates)
Format: CD
Label: Monotype (@)
Rated: *****
This single track effort by Kim Cascone made me think how unfortunately I haven't listened to many of his works and obviously I write that cause everything I've tasted gave me the idea this musician is able to reach a high level of intensity. The Knotted Constellation confirms Cascone ad one of the most catchy experimental/contemporary computer musicians of the period. His music usually duels with space and silence (like every kind of music you may say!), by some means it gives the impression he's one of those artists who learned John Cage and Morton Feldman's lessons by heart, just listen to this barely touched metallic sounds, their reverberation and how the move in the aural space and tell me I'm wrong. Despite the abundance of sounds well diluted in this recording the half an hour length of this composition shows an incredible use of patience, infact Cascone differently from Morton Feldman doesn't give the impression everything is a still life painting frozen in eternity, let's say he conspire with time to bring the listener to an inner journey. Despite the great use of proportions the sound definition is always top class and for what I know here you will find some characteristic intervention that give recognizability to the way of composing of this american musician. Among the different musician featured on this record I read C. Spencer Yeh you'll also notice we have Cage and Christopher Cascone, as some one once said: keep it in the family!.



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Artist: Candida Kandinskij
Title: Lipstick
Format: CDS (CD Single)
Label: self-released
Rated: *****
Born as Giovanni De Benedetto, Candida Kandinskij is his musical outfit since October 2010. Recently he released a three tracks demo which you can check at this page http://signmeto.roadrunnerrecords.com/artists/candida-kandinskij. Musically, Giovanni, blend catchy melodies, electronic parts with different layers of guitar distortions. I don't know why but listening to "Bloomed Hole" I thought of a mix of N.I.N. and TAD. Maybe it was for the controlled wall of sound of because of the way Candida Kandinskij use guitar feedbacks. In any case "Lipstick", "Bloomed Hole" and "19 (Lipstick remix)" are ready to be produced by someone who will enhance their potential (maybe by putting some power on the drum sounds) and then to be released by a label. Anyone out there?
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Artist: Sylvgheist Maëlström (@)
Title: Lahar
Format: CD
Label: Connexion Bizarre (@)
Distributor: Ant-Zen
Rated: *****
Sylvgheist Maëlström is the recording project of Julien Sylvgheist from France, and 'Lahar' is the first album. His musical influences include Einstürzende Neubauten and Orphyx, and the theme of 'Lahar' is cataclysmic natural catastrophes, such as the eruption of the Mount Saint-Helen volcano in 1980 or hurricane Katrina. (There is even a picture of said volcano erupting in the album artwork.) From that description one might get the impression of something bombastic, but there was no register of any seismic activity of that magnitude from the music that I heard. What there is on 'Lahar' is industrialized tribal rhythms and synth electronics (much of them ambient) with lots, and lots, and lots of repetition. The rhythms are usually pushed up front leaving the ambient electronics in the background most of the time, like drones or pads and walls of controlled noise as well as other snakey effects. Even though there is a lot of repetition, the rhythms aren't without interest as they aren't your usual garden variety industrial. 'Mechanized Tribal' might be a good way to describe them. (If you had a marching band composed of Transformer-like robots, they'd be playing them.) Often the way certain beats are accented makes this an unusual form I don't hear a lot of people doing. This is experimental stuff often crossing the border into the noise genre, as well as being dark and ominous. I can tell an awful lot of work went into it. If you're looking for melodic elements though, you won't find them here. Every piece is somewhat different and some may strike you as being more engaging than others. The overall feel is a new 'Industrial Trance' concept, probably not one that will take over the dance floor, but will appeal to those who like rhythmically hypnotic industrial music. I think it's going to take a few listenings to really get into 'Lahar' as I wasn't bowled over by the first time I heard it. In fact, it took me three listening to appreciate what is being done here, and I found it quite innovative once I got into the groove and was able to appreciate the nuances of each piece. Kudos to Sylvgheist Maëlström for doing something really different. Although it may not be everyone's cup o' mud, this album deserves a listening (or three) by anyone with open ears for the experimental who aren't put off by lots and lots of rhythmic repetition.
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Artist: Kryptogen Rundfunk
Title: Live 2005
Format: CD
Label: Zhelezobeton (@)
Distributor: Zhelezobeton
Rated: *****
Kryptogen Rundfunk is the project name of Russian electronic music artist Artyom Ostapchuk, and this is his second solo album since 2004, '22.SZ' on the French Mechanoise Labs label, although he's had several split/releases/collaborations with such of artists as Neznamo, Lunar Abyss Deus Organum, Sister Loolomie, Bardoseneticcube, and other artists in the interim. The music on the album is taken from liver performances the "Noise vs Glamour" festival in 2005 in St. Petersburg and Moscow, later edited in the studio. It should also be pointed out that Artyom also runs the Zhelezobeton label. Why he waited until 2011 to release material recorded in 2005 I really don't know, but I suppose he had his reasons. (Perhaps ambient noise is timeless?)

I was intrigued by the photo on the cover of Artyom fiddling with knobs so I listened to this CD much earlier in the batch I received from Chain D. L. K. HQ, but since what I heard wasn't initially as intriguing as the cover, I put it aside for later. Perhaps this was due to what I was listening to the CD on, the CD player in my car. Bad choice. This certainly isn't driving music. It can be classified as experimental electronic ambient noise, with the accents on experimental and ambient. First track (St. Petersburg performance, 11-18-2005) clocks in at 19:52 and is primarily drone with some feedback, oscillating electronics, bellish tones and miscellaneous noise. Very low key and minimal. It is fairly multi-layered and nuanced in places but I found the feedback elements annoying. The second piece (Moscow performance (11-26-2005) is 23:42 and I liked this one better. It has a larger, denser sound than the first piece; more spacey and cerebral. It is rather difficult to describe, but alien spaceship might be one way. There are times when there are just low drones, others when electronic squiggles are present, and sections when there are richly harmonic drone pastiches, sub-bass thrumming. This is still very low key ambient noise in an understated industrial atmosphere, something you don't want to crank the volume up for. The piece shifts and morphs subtly over time but nothing too far afield from the beginning course that has been laid out. Perhaps the exception would be the brief spoken word samples in Russian (in the middle) and near the end (in German) in the piece that were lost in non-translation to me (except for the obvious Deutsches-porn) but that was a very minor part of the composition. For those who enjoy subdued ambient noise soundscapes, Kryptogen Rundfunk's 'Live 2005' is a curiously engaging listening experience and even though I wasn't entirely thrilled with it, the second piece is amply rewarding. The fact that this was done live is a credit to its artistic merit.
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